Showing posts with label son. Show all posts
Showing posts with label son. Show all posts

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Bound For Greatness

Last week, I wrote about Preemie girl and now it's Big brother's turn. My son whom I raised since he was 5 months old is now 21 and hopefully will be graduating from college this year. Unlike my daughter, I had no behavior issues with him when he was growing up. He was such an obedient child that it was easy to bring him along with me to public places because he was very behaved. It was when he started school that problems started. Although he was a sensitive and intelligent boy, he did not like studying. Unfortunately, I did not have the skill nor the inclination to instill in him good study habits because I too did not like to "study". Therefore, I could not teach him what I did not have, which is weird because I was and still am an avid reader and a life-long learner. It is not the learning part that I hated about school but the process of teaching of what must be learned that was being used by traditional schools. I was the type that needed teachers who knew how to challenge and motivate me. However, unlike my son, I forced myself to study when I needed to even if I found the lessons incomprehensible or was bored to death with the subject matter, while he simply did not care whether he passed or not. This attitude led me to do research on learning styles and learning disabilities as he was growing up. Finding information on multiple intelligence was an eye-opener for me but it seems that in 1995, not many teachers or schools were aware of this or if they were, they did not apply this in their teaching methods and remained very traditional in their evaluation and grading system. And so, my son went through his high school years struggling in all his math subjects but breezing through MAPE, Social Studies and the like. Like any concerned mom, I got him weekend tutors in math and Filipino to check his understanding and skills at the same time to give him some advanced lessons. He passed but clearly, he never quite developed a love for study.


BUT, there were other things that he was very very good at.  For the longest time, it became a habit for me to sing to him nightly while putting him to sleep.  I think I have memorized all the nursery rhymes and cartoon theme songs in the world. I even had a Spanish one.  His birth-mother was tone-deaf and for this reason, I'd like to believe that his musical ability is all because of me.  He first sang during his pre-school culminating activity where he had the role of the prince in Cinderella, and all through his primary grades up to high school, he was the class favorite to compete in the school's annual singing contest.

 

When he began his intermediate grades I would teach him some simple chords using the Yamaha guitar left to me by my dad.  Before long he was mastering it and was teaching himself to play the harder chords.  I bought him his first guitar soon after, which was upgraded to a more expensive one by the end of his high school.  Today, he is good enough to get invited to play in college acoustic bands.


But it's not all about music for my son. He dabbles in photography, getting more adept at it as time goes by.  He is also an accomplished swimmer, competing in high school intramurals and used to play little league basketball. But his other great passion is Taekwondo.  Although expensive, I enrolled him in lessons when he was 9 years old believing that it would develop discipline and character in him.  I did not know that it was going to be a long-term love affair for him.  He had enough motivation to make it up to Black Belt- First Dan and joined competitions every summer.  He was good enough to make it into the college varsity team and won a silver medal (it should have been gold, but that is another story...) in the senior division of the 2009 NOPSSEA.  He plans to make 2nd Dan this summer.


He is very good with children and when he was 11, he asked to become a god-father to one of his nephews. He is a loyal friend, a loving, caring and protective son, grandson, brother and cousin. He does not abuse his privileges and never asks for his wants, only for his needs.  Except for wishing that he has better grades, there is not much more I can ask for in a son. I continue to pray that he will be a good man, a man that God meant him to be. Although he is far from perfect and continues to be a work in progress, I have no doubt in my mind that my only son is bound for greatness. 

Greatness Starts @Home Blogging Contest


Monday, February 27, 2012

Bringing up Preemie Girl

I used to think that bringing up kids wasn't all that hard. My parents raised us their 3 children (1 girl and 2 boys), fairly and without biases. We all had the same privileges and got the same kind of punishment when we did wrong. I never felt any more special than my 2 brothers. But when I became a mother to a 3 month old baby boy in 1991, I realized that it was not easy at all and that parenting is the hardest job in the world where there is no retirement ever. And so when I took home a 5 month old baby girl (who was born severely premature) for Christmas in 2008, it was an act of faith and trust that this too is God's will for me and my family. You see, raising my son was a relatively fun task for me, maybe because as the eldest in my family and the oldest grandchild, I grew up looking out for my brothers and playing with my cousins, majority of whom were male. I have always been partial to boys, even as a child. I remember each time my mom became pregnant, I would always wish for a brother. Being used to boys, I understood them better than girls. I was worried not so much about the fact that she might have special needs, but that I wasn't too sure that I knew how to handle girls! If I just based my capability on the limited interaction I had with female cousins and my family's not too great experience with adopted or fostered daughters, I probably would have gotten cold feet. On the other hand, I love children regardless of gender and this angelic, fragile and helpless child stole my heart forever. Indeed, time flies because Preemie girl will be 4 years old in July. She is so different from her older brother when he was her age...in fact, she is the exact opposite. While my son was an obedient and quiet child, my daughter asserts herself all the time and could hit the right decibel to cause temporary deafness when she does not get her way. She is hyperactive and needs to be entertained, quite unlike her older brother who used to play with his toys for hours all by himself. She is inquisitive and a quick study, but is such a handful that I could not help but compare her to Big Brother who is now 21 and the only one who can make her obey at first try. He adores her, of course and enjoys being called "dada" instead of the usual term of manong (respectful title for older brothers). And thank God, except for a really fast metabolism and hyperactivity, she is as normal as any child her age. She is smart and adorable. And she can be so sweet when she wants to. She is all girl...loves using pink lip gloss and polish. 
 
 

As I write this post, I am inclined to believe that the difference in behavior (aside from genetics, of course) between my 2 kids at that particular age (2-3 years old) is probably because I nurtured each of them a little differently. I had my son when I was a lot younger and with less responsibilities at work, so that I had more energy and time for him. I used to come home for lunch and spend part of the afternoon with him before going back to work. I would put him to sleep and even tutored him. When my daughter came to us, I was at work the whole day, coming home early evening just as she is getting ready for bed. Although she sleeps with me, the time I spent with her is considerably less than the time I used to spend with my son. She spends most of her waking hours with her nanny and since I would bring part of my work home, it was also her nanny who would put her to sleep. Now that I am out of work, I do have more time with her but I have to admit that at my age, an active child is really challenging. We will be putting her in nursery school this summer in preparation for the regular school year this June. I hope by then she learns to sit still, stay quiet and pay attention...otherwise, we are in big trouble.

And Big brother? Well, let me just say that he outgrew the docile behavior by the time he was in grade school...but, that's another story and for another post (big wink).





Sunday, September 25, 2011

Seeing Adoption in a Different Light

I have 2 children...a 20 year old son and a 3 year old daughter. People not in the know would almost always ask...Why such a huge gap between the two?  I understand their curiosity because if I were in their place, I would wonder too.  And so, I would always take the time to explain that my children are adopted.  But it wasn't always that easy when my son was growing up... not because I wanted to keep it a secret.  On the contrary, by the time he was 4, my son knew that I was not his only mother and that he had another one who gave birth to him.  The act of adoption, fostering and guardianship were nothing new or strange to my family.  There was always an adopted aunt, cousin, nephew and niece in the past and present generation, so it wasn't like being adopted was such a big deal to us.  But you see, I used to think that saying he is adopted would make people treat him differently and I did not want that.  I get so tired of people telling me (and him) how lucky he is; they forget that through this boy I was given the gift of motherhood and therefore "lucky" works both ways.  So to avoid this and other insensitive comments, I would ask my mom to just introduce him as my son.  Of course, my mom after doing so and once my son was out of hearing distance, would always make clarifications since she did not want people to think I had a child out of wedlock. In fact, one funny story was when my son enrolled as a college freshman and the person interviewing him used to be a co-professor of my mother when she was still teaching in that university.  He looked at his papers and asked him if his mother was me and of course, my son said yes. My son laughingly told me about it when he got home and described the incredulous look on the professor's face. Surely, the very next day this professor called my mom to ask about it, saying "just last month I saw your very single daughter and yesterday, this boy tells me she is his mother!...How in heavens name can she have a son as huge as this boy in such a short time?"  Hahahahaha!  My mom had a good laugh and explained to him, that I have an adopted son.  Today I say the word "adopted" freely because I soon realized that by not saying it gives it an even more negative connotation, as if being adopted was something to be ashamed of.  My experience taught me that avoiding the word even though we never kept his being adopted a secret only made me more defensive and protective of my son, which did not help him as he was growing up.  In fact, bullies in school picked on him just because he had better clothes, better things and was much more well taken cared of as compared to them who had "real" parents.  It was as if he had no right to be better than any of them because after all he was just the son of a servant girl. I am glad that my son has surpassed all these challenges with grace and dignity. He knows he is loved unconditionally by us and not surprisingly, because he is so caring, friends from elementary and high school continue to seek him out.  He will be 21 in 2 months time and has grown to be a reliable, protective and loving man.  And he proudly says that he is adopted.  And my little girl?  After having my son, I never thought I would be raising another child.  When he was in Grade 5, he begged me to have a brother or a sister but I refused, mainly for financial reasons.  But God works in mysterious ways.  After 18 years, I was given a daughter or maybe more age-appropriate, a granddaughter ;) ?  She came for a visit when she was 5 months old and decided to stay :) Yes, she is a handful at 3 years of age but gives us a lot of love and happiness.  We are all under her spell.  As to her future...her "Dada" (the name she calls my son) who loves her to bits and who together with my mom convinced me to keep her, has promised to pay it forward.  God in his infinite wisdom chose to let this baby survive in spite of the odds and made a way for her to come to us.  It is a small miracle that she is so normal, very bright and healthy.  Who am I to question the will of God?

Retrieved from the worldwide web

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

My Son Is Turning 20 Today...Sniff

Twenty years ago, my son came into my life as a 3 month old baby a few days after my dad passed away. My Dad had a massive first heart attack and the family was so unprepared for the loss. He attached himself to me before he could even say mama and as soon as he can walk he would follow me around...wherever I was in the house, he would be right there beside me. This little baby boy stole my heart like no man has ever done. He has given me the gift of motherhood and I finally understood what unconditional love looked like. When he was little I would always pray that he would turn out to be a good man...and well...I also hoped he would be tall since his birth mother is a very short person. So, I made him drink liters of milk, gave him growth vitamins and made him sleep early. When he turned 16, he was almost 5 feet 9 and I said to myself...I don't want to be greedy...5'9" is okay Lord. Well, he grew another inch taller...as well as bigger! And so, I begged the Lord...enough, please. The little boy (who has since become a Big Brother) has grown to be a man full of potentials. He still has a lot of growing up to do but hey, he is getting there...and I smile when I see a glimpse of the man I pray and hope that he will be.

Happy 20th Birthday, my son ♥ ♥ ♥ You are now in the threshold of adulthood...May God continue to bless you today and always.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

MY SON IS 18

I became a mom in February 1991, the month my father died. I did not plan on motherhood, not for lack of a maternal instinct but mainly because I was already in my 30's with no relationship that was serious enough for marriage...yes, I believe that children should be born out of love and marriage. At a time when my family was experiencing a strong sense of loss, this 3 month old baby boy came into our lives. He brought laughter when we found very little reason to do so. His presence at home made us forget our sadness and we all began focusing our attention on him. Before long, I was spending more time with him than any other aspect in my life...even my work and friends. In fact, this was the year I started being late for work almost everyday because I was putting him first before anything else. In other words, I fell in love. He was God's gift to me and he made me a mother before it was too late. Two days from now, on November 3, 2008, this baby turns 18. Looking back, he is the best thing that happened in my life. He is my joy, my friend, my son.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

PROUD MOMENT

Last Saturday, May 31, 2008 was a momentous day in my son Ramie's life. After 7 years of training in Taekwondo, he has finally earned his Black Belt, 1st Dan. He had trained hard the whole summer and with some help from me completed his thesis requirement on time(earning for me about 5% of his black belt). The anticipation was high during the past week but he never showed that he was nervous even during the promotion date (although, afterwards he said he was actually very nervous). We left the house at about 1:30 PM and I dropped him off at the La Salle covered court where the promotion tests will be held. The whole process for the black belt involves demonstrations of all forms learned from yellow to high brown belt, a sparring session with 2 black belts and the braking of boards and blocks. There was also a welcoming ceremony which I had no idea about. I was the nervous one and was not really keen to watch the sparring because Ramie warned me that it could be scary. But even if I got back about an hour later, they were just finishing the red belts and haven't even started on the browns yet because the master who would be conducting the black belt promotion was a little late. After about 30 minutes, the master arrived and the promotion tests for the brown belts began. Soon, it was the group of Ramie. There were 7 of them, 3 for junior black and 4 for senior black. Ramie did the first part with flying colors! I was so impressed that he could do all the forms flawlessly...I know that it was tiring because this first part alone took almost an hour. Then came the sparring session...first it was one on one with 2 different opponents then, 2 black belts against the one (meaning Ramie) being tested. During the one on one sparring, Ramie took them on quite well, their kicks not really hitting him, in fact because he was big they would be the one falling when they try to kick him :) but when it was 2 against him, he took a hit in his face and while he was trying to shield himself with one of them, the other gave him a kick behind his head which stunned him! I could see him trying to get his balance back but he was really hurt and he fell flat on the floor! I stood up to see if he was okay but he didn't stand up, so that I walked towards where he was surrounded by all the players to check on him but just as I reached him, he stood up to get back to the mat and everyone cheered...but the master made a sign to discontinue the sparring. I think even he got worried that Ramie could be seriously hurt because hitting backside is dangerous...even if it was not intentional. I was so proud of Ramie...how brave he was and how he was able to have enough endurance to finish everything! Well, I thought this was his end-point but he told me, he's going to try for 2nd Dan which will be after 4 years...oh well, by that time hopefully, he will be graduated from college and I don't have to be his audience anymore. Oh, and all these taekwondo training have some other benefits...this semester of his sophomore year, he was awarded a 50% athletic college scholarship as part of his being a varsity player :) That gave me even more to smile about (^^)

Follow by Email